What's in a name? Windows 11 is coming. You can just tell. All the evidence points to a name change for the operating system. Big changes, revamped UI, new store, and now this Windows event logo with the big number 11 that you can't unsee. Oh, and the June 24 reveal event is taking place at 11am ET.
Update (06/15): If there was any doubt Windows 11 is coming, a leaked build of the upcoming OS has apparently leaked and Tom Warren from The Verge has run it and taken some screenshots and short videos. The operating system's UI is changed, with several rounded corners and simplified elements, though it feels... unfinished. Check it out for yourself below...
Windows 11 also includes a new snap feature built into the maximize button on all apps. It's a neat way to surface features that have existed in Windows for years https://t.co/VDS08QPsl5 pic.twitter.com/uXcwVngmTT--- Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021
this is the new Windows 11 startup sound pic.twitter.com/UQZNFBtAxa--- Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021
At Microsoft's Build 2021 conference last month, CEO Satya Nadella revealed that they would not cover Windows updates during the event. He noted that big changes were coming for the "next generation of Windows," and promised more information was on the way.
Then this week, Microsoft announced a Windows-only "what's-next" event scheduled for June 24 at 11am ET. The reveal used the logo above, but we managed to miss that the shadow cast by the crossbar on the windows logo omitted the horizontal bar. It's a significant omission since the light shining through casts an image that looks like an 11.
From Nadella's comments and from what we have seen of the Sun Valley update, we know significant changes are coming to the ubiquitous operating system.
Microsoft has not indicated it's moving from the Windows 10 moniker and years prior they said Windows 10 would be "the last version of Windows," but that was a very different Microsoft under a Nadella leadership that was less than a year old. The evidence seems to suggest that it may be planning to introduce Windows 11.
The timeline for iterating Windows names has been all over the place in the last 26 years (starting with Windows 95). The shortest span was between Windows ME and Windows XP, which was 13 months, but ME was a huge mess, so that's not a big surprise.
The most prolonged wait---XP to Vista---was 63 months (just over five years). Microsoft's average for changing names is about three years. Windows 10 launched in July 2015, but the original plan was for this version to remain the live version of the operating system that would be perpetually updated without major new releases to replace it.
During Build 2021, Nadella promised this was "one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade." Interesting. More significant than the launch of Windows 8 in 2012 and Windows 10 in 2015? This "update" is big.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'll eat the paper I wrote this article on if Windows 11 is not announced or launched on June 24.